East’s Inspiration: Tristan Deeds


I got to know Tristan better when I participated in a GEHS JROTC Raider competition with him. My involvement with the competition only happened because Sgt. Maj. Long invited me. Recently, when I was trying to find a competent student for my article, Long suggested Tristan. I agreed that he was a great fit for someone inspirational from our school.

You’re involved with many school-affiliated activities, what all are they?

I’m involved in various activities here at Greenbrier East such as Student Government, Go Global Interact, JROTC, GEHS Raider Team, GEHS Air Rifle Team, and East Engineering just to mention a few.

What relating to school do you enjoy the most?

For one, I enjoy being around friends and classmates. I also enjoy being around my teachers. They’re always lending a helping hand and simply they’re just a great group of people.

I enjoy participating in activities within Student Government, JROTC, and East Engineering, all of which have impacted me in one way or another.

What activities do you enjoy outside of school?

I love being active and being in great physical condition. I really enjoy running and biking. Those two activities I grew up doing all the time and I still, to this day, enjoy doing them.

Another activity I participate in outside of school is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art I’ve grown to love and has taught me many essential values such as respect, loyalty, and discipline. Overall, Jiu-Jitsu has made me a better leader and a better person.

Last but not least, I enjoy shooting firearms. Just like running and biking, it’s something I grew up doing. I like to shoot all kinds of calibers whether it be .22, NATO 7.62 (.308), or NATO 5.56 (.223). I must say that precision shooting is by far my most favorite style of shooting. It has allowed me to develop certain skills such as attention to detail as well as a lot of mathematical skills (necessary for accuracy).

What are your plans for the future?

Upon graduating from Greenbrier East High School, I plan on attending the United States Military Academy (West Point). Upon graduating from USMA, I plan to branch infantry to eventually work my way to the Army Special Forces.

What motivates you?

Setting goals for myself is what motivates me the most. I’m a very goal-oriented person and I personally will do anything to achieve my goal(s). Of course, there will be setbacks and failures along the way but simply to me that is no excuse as to why I should give up and quit on achieving a goal. I love setting goals, sub-goals, and habits, all of which motivate me and keep me moving forward.

What vice(s) disrupt you?

This is actually a really interesting question and a good one as well. For me, I have a strong sweet tooth and I love eating various kinds of sweets. Although this never really sets me back any, there’s a guilty conscience that I have afterwards that disrupts me. It’s simply a bad habit I can’t shake.

How are you able to discipline yourself and maintain consistency?

Making good habits and having strong self discipline is what allows me to be able to maintain discipline and consistency.

Setting good habits now can impact someone for a lifetime and it already has for me.

Who or what inspires you?

My faith in Jesus Christ is what ultimately inspires me the most. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for the life He has given me and for that I’m very grateful for everything He has done for me. I’m very blessed to have Christ in my life as well as having many great friends and family by my side.

My father, Vince, also inspires me a lot. He did 25 years in the West Virginia State Police and served in several units such as the Special Operations Unit and Sniper Team Unit. Growing up, I always saw him doing 110% at everything he was trying to accomplish. Even in failure, I never saw him quit. He got right back up and kept moving forward. My father inspired me to never quit, a lesson I learned from him that continues to push me forward to this day.

What are avoidable mistakes that get in the way of others’ success?

For others, having self doubt is a crucial mistake. There’s a lot of people who, before they even try, talk themselves out of success and anticipate their next action or move. [They] must have confidence in themselves to succeed in any way.

What advice would you offer to students wanting to improve themselves?

Simply put, never quit and never give up on yourself. If you quit, you’ll never get the full satisfaction of success. You’ll naturally have a sense of regret if you quit. So for that, push yourself harder and test yourself. Believe me, there is nothing wrong with testing your limits. If you test your limits, you’ll understand what you’re capable of and only then can you really start to improve yourself.

Set goals, make habits, and follow through with them. If you do this and develop self discipline, success will follow. Of course, you will experience failure, however, that failure does not define who you are. Use that failure as an example and use it to keep pushing yourself forward to achieve your goals. When I experience failure, there’s a passage I tend to think about. It’s called “Man In The Arena” by Theodore Roosevelt, and I encourage you to read it sometime for when you may come across failure.

Most importantly, stand up for yourself and for what you think is right. Even when it seems the hardest, tell the truth and be honest with yourself and others. Doing the right thing at all times and being honest can be generalized into one word: Integrity. However, integrity means more than being honest and doing the right thing. Its a code one must live by every day and it sets the foundation for the person you are.